Philippines confirms T129 acquisition
“Based on the latest developments, we are expecting the first two units of T129 attack helicopters for the Philippine Air Force (PAF) to be delivered this September,” Philippine Department of National Defence spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said in a statement.
According to the reports, two more helicopters will be delivered in February 2022, and the final batch will be delivered in 2023.
T129 is a twin-engine multirole attack helicopter produced under license from the Italian-British company AgustaWestland and based on the A129 Mangusta.AgustaWestland is now Leonardo Helicopters following a name change.
The helicopter is powered by two LHTEC T800-4A turboshaft engines, each of which can produce 1,014 kilowatts of output power. The engine was first designed for Boeing–Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche. The engine powers Super Lynx helicopters too.
The T129s will be part of the Philippine Air Force’s 15th Strike Wing, whose pilots and crew will be undergoing training on the helicopter at the TAI headquarters in Ankara
The T129 ATAK Helicopter is designed in two types for close air support and multi-purpose missions.
The president of TUSAS, Professor Temel Kotil, announced in April that his company had won U.S. export licenses to sell a batch of six helicopter gunships to the Philippines.
On the other hand, TUSAŞ received another time extension of six months from Pakistan. Pakistan wants to acquire 30 helicopters, but the U.S. administration does not provide the necessary export licence for engines.